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ASA Presidential Fellows Program

The ASA recognizes that it is futile to effectively study Africa and meaningfully engage important issues affecting the African continent, without also meaningfully engaging the scholars and practitioners on the ground who are working against considerable odds to bring about change. These actors generate much of the empirical data that goes into informing reports and studies which are published and circulated in the “global north,” however the vast majority of them are unable to access resources, networks and capacity-building opportunities beyond their borders.

The ASA Presidential Fellows Program is responding to this gap by continuing its tradition of providing opportunities for academics and practitioners with a scholarly interest in Africa to travel to attend the ASA Annual Meeting, visit institutions of higher learning in the United States, engage with academics working on Africa-related issues, take courses and to explore opportunities for collaborative ventures.

This year the ASA will fund approximately five to seven scholars from the following categories of ASA Presidential Fellows:

  • 3 Fellows will be sponsored by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS)/ASA Presidential Fellows Program. The selection process for this category will be managed by the African Humanities Program of the ACLS.
  • ASA member contribution sponsored Fellowship(s). The ASA has two member-nominated fellowships available, with additional fellowships to be made available, contingent on funding. 

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants must be based in a higher education institution or an organization on the African continent and should be able to demonstrate a scholarly commitment to work on issues affecting Africa.
  • All applicants must be nominated by a current ASA member. If you are an applicant interested in the Program, you may consult the ASA’s Membership Directory to find and contact an ASA member who can nominate you. Please note that the Membership Directory is only available to members of the African Studies Association, via the ASA Membership Portal. Please visit the ASA’s Membership Portal to obtain information about becoming a member of the ASA and to register for ASA membership.
  • The nominating member must be willing to host and mentor the Fellow during the conference.  Hosting and mentoring is understood as the following:
    1. Ensuring that the award recipient attends as many conference-related events as possible.
    2. Supporting the award recipient with networking during the conference.
    3. Arranging for a visit by the scholar to one or more institutions, both for the purpose of presenting their research, and forming networks (travel will be arranged by the host institution unless otherwise agreed). Nominations must include a proposed itinerary during the institutional visit(s), detailing possible events and meetings the Presidential Fellow may have. If possible, please include information about available financial support for the Fellow and the visit.
  • For candidates in academia, preference will be given to emerging scholars – which we understand as scholars about to complete their Ph.D. or within 5 years past completion, particularly those who do not have experience studying or conducting research in North American institutions.
  • For practitioner candidates, the nominating member must be able to demonstrate in their nomination letter how participating in the ASA Presidential Fellows Program will positively impact the candidate’s work/engagement.
  • While applicants may come from multidisciplinary backgrounds, preference will be given to applicants with demonstrable scholarly and/or activist contributions to development initiatives in Africa.
  • Eligible women applicants are encouraged to apply.

To Apply

The nomination period has passed. Please check back in March.

2019 Presidential Fellows

ASA/ACLS Presidential Fellow Austin Emielu is currently a Professor and Visiting Scholar at the Department of Music, University of  Ghana, Legon.  He holds a Ph.D. degree in performing arts from the University of Ilorin, Nigeria, with music as an area of emphasis. He also holds an MA degree in African Studies with music as an area of emphasis from the Institute of Africa Studies, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He began his academic career at the University of Ilorin in 2001 and also worked at the Kwara State University Malete between 2015 and 2018. His main area of research is African popular music and popular culture. He approaches his research from a multi-disciplinary perspective that braids history, sociology, musicology, cultural studies, anthropology, media studies, economics, music education, and socio-linguistics. He is the author of the book Nigerian Highlife Music (2013). His articles have also appeared in several international journals such as Ethnomusicology (2018), African Music (2013), British Journal of Music Education (2011), Popular Music (2011), Journal of African Literature Association (2016) and Legon Journal of Humanities (2008) just to mention a few. He also contributed entries to  Encyclopaedia of Popular Music of the World: vol. 13 Genres Africa (2019) and Sage International Encyclopaedia of Music and Culture (2019). Besides his academic engagements, Austin Emielu is an accomplished dance band musician and music producer with over three decades of music industry experience in West Africa. He effectively combines theory and practice in the performing arts.

ASA/ACLS Presidential Fellow Babajide Ololajulo is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He is a development anthropologist with research interests ranging over politics of identity, heritage and memory, and the political economy of oil exploration in Nigeria. He has published widely on these themes. Dr. Ololajulo is an alumnus of the University of Michigan African Presidential Scholars Program (UMAPS), a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS-AHP), and a Leventis fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He has also received travel grants from UK ESRC and SEPHIS to attend workshops in the United Kingdom, Brazil, and Peru. His recent book, Unshared Identity published by the African Humanities Program employs the practice of posthumous paternity to explore African endogenous ways of being and meaning-making.

ASA/ACLS Presidential Fellow Bernard Matolino is an associate professor in philosophy at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. His main areas of interest are personhood, race and racism, and African political theory. He is the author of Personhood in African Philosophy (2014); Consensus as Democracy in Africa (2018); and Afro-Communitarian Democracy (forthcoming 2019). He became an African Humanities Fellow in 2012 and won the Codesria postdoctoral fellowship in 2015. In 2019 he was made the African Studies Association Presidential fellow. To date, he has supervised, to completion, eight doctoral candidates.

 ASA/ACLS Presidential Fellow Susana Molins-Lliteras is a Post-Doctoral Fellow based at the Archive and Public Culture Research Initiative and the Historical Studies Department at the University of Cape Town (South Africa).  For the last decade, she has been a researcher and coordinator at the Tombouctou Manuscripts Project (www.tombouctoumanuscripts.org), and an integral part of the Project’s events and output, organizing conferences, workshops and seminars on West African book and manuscript history.  Her current book project, based on her doctoral dissertation, presents an archival biography the Fondo Kati, a private family manuscript collection in Timbuktu, elucidating how historical knowledge in and about Timbuktu is continuously produced, reproduced and refashioned.  She has published on the archives of Timbuktu and on the social history of a West African Sufi movement in South Africa.

ASA Presidential Fellow Ganiyu Jimoh is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Arts of Africa and Global Souths research programme, Department of Fine Art, Rhodes University in South Africa. He holds a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Lagos, Nigeria with focus on contemporary art, new media, satire and cartoons in relation to spatial negotiations, transnationalism and cultural politics. His research has attracted significant awards including the prestigious University of Lagos Best Researcher Award in Arts and Humanities in 2011. He also received a research grant to conduct part of his Ph.D. research at the African Studies Centre and Special Cartoon Collection Unit, Michigan State University, USA in 2015. He was recently awarded, the University of Edinburgh Catalyst Fellowship to attend the 2019 edition of ECAS in Edinburgh. He is a project advisor on the African Humanities Research Council, sponsored research on the Visual Articulation of Politics in Nigeria Elections. As a scholarly writer who is also a practicing political cartoonist, Jimga (cartoon signature) has several local and international exhibitions to his credit and currently serves as the Secretary of Cartoonists Association of Nigeria (CARTAN). His recent article on cartoon and masking tradition in Nigeria is published in the current edition of African Arts.

ASA Presidential Fellow Evarist Ngabirano is a PhD fellow at Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR). He has a Masters of Advanced Studies in Theology and Religion and a Masters in Religious Studies from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (K.U Leuven) in Belgium. He holds a Bachelors of Divinity and a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (Religion, History) from Makerere University. He also holds a Bachelor of Sacred Theology and a Bachelor of Philosophy from Urbaniana University in Rome, Italy. He has 6 years of teaching experience at Mountains of the Moon University, Fort Portal and has been the Director of MMU-Centre for African Development Studies where he coordinated the project to preserve and digitize Archives from Tooro and Bunyoro regions in Uganda.

2018 Presidential Fellows

ASA/ACLS Presidential Fellow Theresah Patrine Ennin, is a Senior Lecturer of African Literature at the Department of English, College of Humanities and Legal Studies at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana where she teaches and engages in research. Theresah obtained her Ph.D. in African Languages and Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the USA where she was a Fulbright JSDP Scholar.  She has her Master of Philosophy degree in English from the University of Cape Coast in 2001. Currently, Theresah is a member of the African Literature Association.  Theresah’s academic awards include an ACLS/African Humanities Program Fellowship 2014/2015, A Fulbright-Weston Award for Best Student Sun-Saharan Africa, 2009 and A Mellon-Wisconsin Fellowship in 2013. She has published in journals such as the West Africa Review, Spectrum: A Journal on Black Men, and the African Studies Quarterly.

ASA/ACLS Presidential Fellow Zintombizethu Matebeni is the African Humanities Program Fellow and senior researcher at the University of Cape Town whose intellectual contribution primarily focuses on the development of African Queer Theory in South Africa. Zethu has published numerous books and journal articles including, “Queer in Africa: LGBTQI identities, citizenship, and activism”, 2018 (with Surya Monro and Vasu Reddy); and “Reclaiming Afrikan: queer perspectives on sexual and gender identities” (2014) which focuses on art activism and queer theory-making.

ASA/ACLS Presidential Fellow James Ocita, is a Lecturer in the Department of Literature, Makerere University, Uganda, and until December 2017 a Research Associate in the Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR), Makerere University. He had previously held graduate teaching assistantships at the University of Maryland at College Park, and Stellenbosch University, South Africa. His teaching and research interests include Indian African diaspora literature, Indian Ocean studies, Ugandan, African, the African diaspora and Caribbean literature, migration and postcolonial literature. He is also interested in oral literature, contemporary African popular culture, and creative writing. Dr. Ocita has previously held an All Africa House Fellowship, hosted by the Department of English at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Recently, he completed an African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowship and his book monograph, based on his doctoral work, provisionally titled Africa’s Bastard Children: Memory, Belonging and Diasporic Identity in Ugandan and South African Indian Narratives is near completion. His recent publications focus on narratives of Indian experiences in East and South Africa and explore ideas such as home, memory, cultural identity, transnationalism, locality and global mobility of postcolonial subjects. Currently, he is exploring the coast and the hinterlands of East Africa as metaphors for various dualities and the cultural dynamism of the Indian Ocean world.

ASA/ACLS Presidential Fellow Samaila Suleiman, is a lecturer in History, Bayero University, Kano. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Cape Town in 2015. Samaila is a recipient of many fellowships including the Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa doctoral fellowships (SSRC), Fellow Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism (JWTC), Brown International Advanced Research Institutes fellowship (BIARI), the African Humanities Program (ACLS) postdoctoral fellowship, fellow Summer Program in Social Sciences Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) Princeton, and postdoctoral fellow African Peace-building Network (APN) of the SSRC. He has published many articles and book chapters on historiography, heritage, archives, and identity. His latest publications include the chapters “Ethnic Minorities and the politics of Heritage in northern Nigeria” in Things Don’t Really Exist Until You Give Them a Name”, and “The Nigerian History Machine” in Theories of History: History Read Across Humanities.

2017 Presidential Fellows

ASA/ACLS Presidential Fellow Dina Adhiambo Ligaga is a Senior Lecturer in Media Studies at the University of Witwatersrand. She holds a Senior Lectureship position in the Department of Media Studies, University of the Witwatersrand. She has published in the areas of media studies and popular culture in Africa, with a specific focus on East Africa. She is co-editor of Radio in Africa (2011) and Eastern African Intellectual Traditions (2012). She is also co-editor of a special issue titled ‘East African Interventions in African Literary and Cultural Studies’. African Studies. Vol 75 (2). She has published journal articles on emerging popular cultures in the digital age, with a focus on women and agency. She presented the paper “Reading the public script: mediation of everyday life in Kenyan popular media” on the panel V-V-1 ASA Presidential Fellows: East African Media and their Publics (Sponsored by the American Council of Learned Societies, African Humanities Program).

ASA Presidential Fellow Munyaradzi Mawere is a Professor of Culture and Heritage Studies at the Simon Muzenda School of Arts, Great Zimbabwe University. He holds a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa. Professor Mawere also holds a Master’s Degree in Social Anthropology (UCT), Master’s Degree in Development Studies, Master’s Degree in Philosophy and B.A. (Hons) Degree in Philosophy from the University of Zimbabwe. Before joining Great Zimbabwe University, Prof. Mawere was a lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe and at Universidade Pedagogica, Mozambique, where he has also worked in different capacities as a Senior Lecturer, Assistant Research Director, Postgraduate Co-ordinator, and professor. He has an outstanding publishing record of more than 200 pieces of [academic] work which include more than 50 books and over 150 book chapters and peer-reviewed papers in scholarly journals. His research interests broadly include but are not limited to knowledge studies, development and poverty studies, environmental conservation, African studies, Human trafficking, coloniality, decoloniality, postcoloniality, African expressions of technology, African political systems, culture and heritage studies. He presented the paper “The Political Economy of Poverty and Vulnerability: How Africa can Break the Cycle of Poverty to Unlock its Underdevelopment Jam?“ on the panel IX-H-3 Developmental states, with and without Resources.

ASA/ACLS Presidential Fellow Aaron Mushengyezi
 is an Associate Professor of Literature at Makerere University. He graduated with a Doctorate in English from the University of Connecticut, Storrs, USA. He is currently an Associate Professor at Makerere University and a CAPREx Research Fellow at the Centre of African Studies, the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. He has held several prestigious awards including Post-doctoral fellowships by the African Humanities Program (AHP) of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), and the Cambridge Africa Partnership for Research Excellence (CAPREx). He is a specialist in children and young adult literature, and he has coordinated several bilingual book projects for children in Ugandan schools. He has authored several articles and books, including Oral Literature for Children: Rethinking Orality, Literacy, Performance, and Documentation Practices (Rodopi, 2013) and Twentieth-Century Literary Theory (Makerere, 2003). He has also contributed to The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children’s Literature (Oxford, 2006) and he 15 recently edited Media for Young People in Uganda: Introduction to Theory and Practice (Fountain, 2017). He presented the paper, “Translating Ugandan Oral Literature for Children: Audience, Form, and Social Relevance” on the panel V-V- 1 ASA Presidential Fellows: East African Media and their Publics (Sponsored by the American Council of Learned Societies, African Humanities Program).

ASA/ACLS Presidential Fellow Ngusekela Mona Mwakalinga
is Head of the Department of Fine and Performing Arts at the University of Dar es Salaam. She is a Lecturer of Film and Media Studies at the Department of Creative Arts of the University of Dar es Salaam. She graduated with a B.A. in Theatre Arts and a Masters of Arts in Theatre and Film from the University of Dar es Salaam. She also holds a Ph.D. in Film and Media Studies from the University of Kansas, USA. She is currently the Director of Public Service at the University of Dar es Salaam. She is a practitioner, facilitator, trainer, and instructor in both film and theatre arts. Her research interest is in theatre and film practice in Tanzania, Africa, and the diaspora. She has worked with both national and international organizations at different capacities. She presented the paper “Looking at Tanzanian Video Films through a Transnational Lens” on the panel V-V-1 ASA Presidential Fellows: East African Media and their Publics (Sponsored by the American Council of Learned Societies, African Humanities Program).

ASA Presidential Fellow Philip Ademola Olayoku
 is a Senior Research Fellow, IFRANigeria and a Project Manager at the Information Aid Network. He has a Ph.D. in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. He earlier served as a Senior Programme Officer for the Center for Democracy and Development in Abuja, Nigeria, where he worked on issues of transitional justice with the Department of Political Affairs of the African Union on a MacArthur Foundation sponsored project. He is a 2015 Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation Young African Scholar and taught graduate students for three years as an adjunct at the Institute of African Studies, and the Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ibadan. His research has been sponsored by the Kukah Foundation, Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and the French Institute for Research in Africa. His latest publication in the African Studies Review is titled: Between Vigilantism and Ethno-Cultural Preservation: An Investigation of the Legitimacy of Non-State Policing Activities of the Ombatse Group among the Eggon People of Nassarawa State, Nigeria. His research interests include transitional justice, security studies, Afro-Asian relations and African and African Diaspora Studies. He presented the paper “Between vigilantism and ethnocultural preservation: An investigation into the legitimacy of the non-state policing activities of the Ombatse group among the Eggon people of Nassarawa State, Nigeria” on the panel I-J-1 Informality vs Formal Institutions in Africa: Case Studies.

ASA/ACLS Presidential Fellow Olajumoke Yacob‐Haliso
is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at Babcock University is a Fulbright scholar, a Fellow of The American Council for the Learned Societies and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Visual communication and Multimedia, College of Engineering Design Art and Technology, Makerere University, Uganda. She holds a Bachelors of Industrial and Fine Arts (BIFA) and a Masters of Arts in Fine Arts (MAFA) from Makerere University. She also holds a Masters of Arts in Art history from the University of Witwatersrand and Doctor of Literature and Philosophy (Dlitt et Phil) from South Africa. She is an artist, art historian, feminist and activist. For more information please visit www.amandatumusiime.ug. She presented the paper “This is My Sweet Liberia: Songs and Single Mothers’ Narratives of Return and Resilience in Postconflict Liberia” on the panel IV-K-3 Women in In-dependent Africa.

2016 Presidential Fellows

ASA Presidential Fellow Daouda Keita is a Senior Lecturer in and Chair of the Department of History and Archaeology at the Université des Sciences Sociales et Gestion in Bamako, Mali. Keita graduated from the State University of Leningrad where he obtained a Master of Arts in history and archeology in 1991. He holds a Doctorate degree in Prehistory from l’Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense (2011). His center of interests includes research in prehistory and archeology, ethnoarchaeology, cultural heritage, and tourism. He presented the paper “The threat of armed conflict on heritage: the case of the jihadist occupation of Timbuktu” in panel VIII-A-1.

ASA/ACLS Presidential Fellow Nomusa Makhubu is a Lecturer in Fine Art at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Makhubu (MA, Ph.D., PGDHE) is an art historian and artist. She is the recipient of the ABSA L’Atelier Gerard Sekoto Award (2006) and the Prix du Studio National des Arts Contemporain, Le Fresnoy (2014). Makhubu is the chairperson of Africa South Art Initiative (ASAI). She is a member of the South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS). Makhubu is an American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS-AHP) fellow, an Abe Bailey fellow, and was a research fellow of the Omooba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Art Foundation (OYASAF) in Nigeria, Lagos where her doctoral research was based. She received the UCT-Harvard Mandela Fellowship. Makhubu was a committee member of the National Arts Festival. She was a recipient of the CAA-Getty travel award in 2014. Makhubu co-edited a Third Text Special Issue: ‘The Art of Change’ (2013). She co-curated the international exhibition, Fantastic, in 2015 which draws inspiration from writers such as Ben Okri and brings together video art and photographs by artists based in various countries on the African continent. Her current research focuses on African popular culture, photography, interventionism, performance art, and socially engaged art. She lectures Art History and Visual Culture at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She presented the paper “Interventionism, Art, and Protest: Renegotiating Urban Spaces of Africa” in panel V-Q-3.

ASA/ACLS Presidential Fellow Okechukwu Charles Nwafor is a Lecturer II in Fine & Applied Arts at Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Awka, Nigeria. Nwafor holds a Ph.D. in Visual History from the Department of History, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa. He was formerly a Research Associate at the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change (ICGC), University of Minnesota and a former fellow at the Center for Humanities Research of the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. He was a recipient of the African Humanities Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2013 and a member of the American Council for Learned Societies. He is currently the Head of Department of Fine and Applied Arts at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria. His articles have appeared in many journals including, Postcolonial Studies, Fashion Theory, Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Arts, Critical Intervention, and African Arts, among others. He presented the paper, “The Fabric of Friendship: Asọ Ebì and the Moral Economy of Amity in Nigeria” in panel V-Q-3.

ASA Presidential Fellow Reginald M. J. Oduor is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Nairobi. He holds a Ph.D. in political philosophy from the University of Nairobi. He was the first person with a total visual disability to be appointed to a substantive teaching position in a public university in Kenya. Over the past twenty-six years, he has taught philosophy in five universities (two full time, three part-time). He is currently a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Nairobi. His main research interest is in political philosophy, where he works on the development of models of democracy that draw from indigenous African political thought. His other research interests are in ethics, philosophy of religion, and African philosophy broadly construed. He has published an introductory textbook in ethics, as well as a number of journal articles and book reviews. He played a pivotal role in establishing the New Series of Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya, in which he served as founding Editor-in-Chief from 2009 to 2015. With Oriare Nyarwath and Francis Owakah, he has edited Odera Oruka in the Twenty-first Century (forthcoming, Council for Research in Values and Philosophy). In addition, he has given guest lectures in Germany, Austria and the United States of America. He is also involved in advocacy for the rights of persons with disabilities. He presented the paper, “Indigenous African Political Thought and Practice as a Basis for Democratic Models Suitable for Post-Colonial African States” in panel XI-H-1.

ASA/ACLS Presidential Fellow Eric Debrah Otchere (Ph.D.) is a lecturer in Music Education at the Department of Music and Dance, Faculty of Arts, College of Humanities and Legal Studies – University of Cape Coast, Ghana. He is a past doctoral fellow of the Volkswagen Foundation in Germany. Recently (until July 2016), he was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the African Humanities Program (AHP) of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). Currently, he is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Music and Musicology at Rhodes University, South Africa. His research interests include such themes as: music, health and well-being, music and emotions, music preferences and emotional intelligence, and the functional use of music in everyday life. Currently, he is working on a psychology of work songs using Ghanaian indigenous fishing songs as the principal focus. Apart from teaching and research, he is also a composer in the choral music tradition. He presented the paper “Seashore harmonies: the message in the songs of a dying fishing culture” in panel V-Q-3.

ASA/ACLS Presidential Fellow Evassy Amanda Tumusiime is a Fulbright scholar, a Fellow of The American Council for the Learned Societies and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Visual communication and Multimedia, College of Engineering Design art and Technology, Makerere University, Uganda. She holds a Bachelors of Industrial and Fine Arts (BIFA) and a Masters of Arts in Fine Arts (MAFA) from Makerere University. She also holds a Masters of Arts in Art history from University of Witwatersrand and Doctor of Literature and Philosophy (Dlitt et Phil) from  South Africa. She is an artist, art historian, feminist and activist. For more information please visit www.amandatumusiime.ug. She presented the paper “Art and Gender: Imag[in]ing the New Woman in Contemporary Ugandan Art” in panel V-Q-3.

2015 Presidential Fellows

Abubakar Aliyu Liman, ACLS-AHP Fellow, (English and Literacy Studies, Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria). Dr. Abubakar Liman Aliyu is an Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Popular Culture in the Department of English and Literary Studies, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Nigeria, where he has been based since 1992. Since his initial appointment, he subsequently rose through the ranks to the rank of Associate Professor and Head of Department.  Dr. Liman has conducted research in the area of Comparative Literature, Orature, and Popular Culture and has published many papers in peer-reviewed journals, books, and monographs in and outside Nigeria. Dr. Liman was awarded the 2013 Leventis African Fellow at the School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS), University of London. He was also the 2011 recipient of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), African Humanities Program (AHP) Post-Doctoral Fellowship Award.

Sylvia Bruinders, ACLS-AHP Fellow, (Music, University of Cape Town, South Africa). Sylvia Bruinders teaches African, African diasporic and World music at the University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa. She completed her doctorate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests include subjectivity, African Diaspora studies, the music industry, music in film, and ethnomusicology. Through her research on the Christmas Bands Movement in the Western Cape, South Africa she investigated the subjectivities of members of the bands and explored how social and political processes impact upon community practices in the Western Cape. She also participated in cultural exchange programs and studied with local musicians and music teachers for a month in Bali in 2000 and in Zimbabwe in 2001.

Joseph Oduro-Frimpong, ACLS-AHP Fellow, (Arts and Sciences, Ashesi University College, Ghana). Dr. Joseph Oduro-Frimpong holds a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale and has held teaching positions at Saint Louis University, Missouri and Southern Illinois University (Edwardsville campus). His research investigates Ghanaian popular media (e.g. political cartoons, video-movies, popular music, obituary posters). He is particularly interested in how such tangible formats not only (re)-mediate cultural ideas and beliefs but also engage in socio-political issues. His research appears in the edited volumes: Encyclopedia of Social Movement Media (2011) and Popular Culture in Africa: Episteme of the Everyday (2004). His journal articles appear in the International Journal of Communication, and African Studies Review.

Tracie Utoh-Ezeajugh, ACLS-AHP Fellow, (Theatre Arts, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nigeria). Tracie Chima Utoh-Ezeajugh, Ph.D., is a Professor of Theatre and Film Design at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria. A Rockefeller Fellow and an AHP Post-Doctoral Fellow, Utoh- Ezeajugh’s scholarly work focuses on the area of African Costumes, Make-up and Body designs, both as art and as aids to characterisation on stage and in Films. She has also written many stage plays and children’s literature.

Abdiqani A. Farah, Hormuud Scholar, (Somali Institute of Environmental Studies, East Africa University, Somalia). Dr. Abdiqani Ahmed Farah (Ph.D., University of Glasgow) is an environmental scientist with wide interests in a sustainable environment and marine life. More particularly, he is interested in coral reef ecosystem Biology in both the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean and is working on understanding the seasonal changes of coral reefs important for fish habitats by monitoring the key environmental and ecological factors. He is head of the Somali Institute of Environmental Science.

Ruth Murambadoro, ASA Presidential Fellow, (Political Science, University of Pretoria). Ruth Murambadoro is an assistant lecturer in the Department of Political Sciences at the University of Pretoria. She is pursuing her doctoral studies in Political Sciences with the University of Pretoria. She holds a research master’s degree in Political Science, an honors degree in international relations and a bachelor of political sciences degree from the same university. Ruth is a recipient of the African Pathways NIHSS-CODESRIA doctoral fellowship (2015/16) and the Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa fellowship (2015). She holds postgraduate certificates in conflict management, political psychology, post-conflict transitions, and international justice from the International Peace and Security Institute (IPSI) and the Central European University. She attended study exchange programs studying at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations, Clingendael, the Johns Hopkins University SAIS Bologna Center, Italy and the Central European University, Budapest, in 2012, 2013 and 2015, respectively. She has three years of experience in qualitative research on peace and conflict and transitional justice in Zimbabwe and Sub Saharan Africa. Her fields of interest are in transitional justice, reconciliation, democracy, post-conflict recovery and political psychology of conflict-stricken communities in Africa.

Yusuf Kajura Serunkuma, ASA Presidential Fellow, (Literature and English Language, Makerere University Institute of Social Research). Yusuf Kajura Serunkuma is a Graduate Student at the Makerere University Institute of Social Research (MISR).  His Ph.D. project, “Making Somaliland: Popular Culture, Identity and Recognition” springs from an understanding that East Africa and the Horn of Africa are deeply bounded to each other – as the over two-decade-long crises in Somalia/Somaliland have vividly demonstrated. Yusuf has a Bachelors degree in Literature and English Language and an MPhil in Social Studies [Cultural Studies] both from Makerere University. In his free time, Yusuf moonlights as a columnist in Uganda’s newspapers and a playwright. In 2014, Fountain Publishers published his first play, The Snake Farmers and reviewers received it warmly both in Kenya and his home country Uganda.

2014 Presidential Fellows

Grace Ahingula Musila teaches at the English Department, Stellenbosch University. She holds a Ph.Din African Literature; and her research interests include East and Southern African literature, popular culture and gender studies. She has variously published journal articles and chapters on these areas. She has also co-edited [with James Ogude and Dina Ligaga] an essay collection titled Rethinking Eastern African Literary and Intellectual Landscapes (Africa World Press, 2012). She is currently working on a monograph on the 1988 murder of British tourist Julie Ward at the Maasai Game Reserve in Kenya. The book is a multidisciplinary portrait of the multiple strands of ideas and interests that were inscribed on the Julie Ward murder and what these reveal about cultural productions of truth, knowledge and social imaginaries in Kenya and Britain. At the core of the study is the question: why would the death of a British tourist in the famous Maasai Mara Game Reserve be the subject of such strong contestations of ideas and multiple truths? Building on existing scholarship on African history, narrative and postcolonial studies, the book reads the Julie Ward murder and its attendant discourses as offering insightful windows into the journeys of ideas, and how these traverse the porous Spatio-temporal boundaries in the relationship between Kenya – Britain, and by extension, Africa and the Global North.

Ayokunle Olumuyiwa Omobowale holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Ibadan. His thesis is on Political Clientelism and Rural Development in Selected Communities in Ibadan, Nigeria. He has an interest in scholarly African issues related to the Sociological fields of Development, Cultural, Rural, Political, Medical and Urban studies. He has won the University of Ibadan Postgraduate School Award for scholarly publication, 2007, IFRA (French Institute for Research in Africa) Research Fellowship 2009 and American Council of Learned Societies-African Humanities Programme Post-Doctoral Fellowship 2010. He is currently a lecturer in Sociology at Nigeria’s Premier University; the University of Ibadan, Ibadan. Dr. Omobowale served on the Board of Editors of the International Encyclopaedia of Revolution and Protest published in March 2009 by Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Oxford. He has published articles in renowned journals such as Africa Spectrum, African Identities, Journal of Asian and African Studies, Revista de Economia-Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Modern African Studies, Africa, Working USA: The Journal of Labor and Society, International Journal of Sociology, International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Current Sociology and the Canadian Journal of Sociology. Dr. Omobowale guest-edited International Journal of Sociology’s edition titled African Social Science in the Global Academy (Vol. 43 No. 1 pp 3-90) and he is also the author of The Tokunbo Phenomenon and the Second-hand Economy in Nigeria (Oxford: Peter Lang Publishing; 2013).

Joanna Boampong is a Lecturer at the Department of Modern Languages, University of Ghana, Legon.  She holds a Ph.D. in Spanish from the University of Southern California.  Her research interests include Hispanophone and Afrohispanic Studies, Postcolonial Theory and Literature, Feminist Theory and Literature, Cultural Studies.  She is an editor of In and Out of Africa: Exploring Afro-Hispanic, Luso-Brazilian and Latin-American Connections. Her recent research seeks to introduce Hispanophone perspectives into critical debates on African Literatures and undertakes comparative analyses of works from Anglophone, Francophone, and Hispanophone literary traditions.

Peace Medie is a Research Fellow at is a research fellow in the Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy (LECIAD) at the University of Ghana. Her research and teaching interests include international relations, gender, and international security, and civilian protection.  Dr. Medie’s ongoing research project studies how international organizations and women’s movements influence states’ enforcement of gender-based violence laws. In 2010 and 2011, she conducted over 150 interviews in Liberia with a range of state and non-state actors for this study. Her published works include Fighting Gender-Based Violence: The Women’s Movement and the Enforcement of Rape Law in Liberia African Affairs, 112 (448):377-397 (July 2013). Combating Post-Conflict Gender-Based Violence: An Analysis of the Liberian and Sierra Leonean Governments’ Efforts to Address the Problem. In Germain, T. & Dewey, S. (Eds.), Conflict-Related Sexual Violence: International Law, Local Responses. Sterling, VA: Kumarian (July 2012).

Prisca Odero holds a Ph.D. in African Studies from the University of the Free State, South Africa, with specialization in Agricultural Economics. She has wide work experience in agricultural, natural resources management, rural development and humanitarian emergency fields where she designed, monitored and evaluated projects, conducted baseline surveys and conducted research in various aspects of rural development in Southern and Eastern Africa. At present she is Field Programme Support and Monitoring Officer for the Southern Africa Region at the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations where she operationally oversees and monitors FAO field operations and programmes in 16 countries (namely Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Eritrea, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe). This entails tracking progress in formulation, implementation and closure of projects and offering advice on FAO standards and procedures.  Given her backgrounds and expertise in academic research, policy and field-based practice Dr. Odero’s work contribute to the development and implementation of livelihood strategies, and also deals with food security-related issues in vulnerable contexts which, if not addressed could lead to conflict.  Her work is important not only for its focus on the micro-macro linkages to livelihood strategies in agricultural households across many African countries, but is also cutting-edge in the ways she is beginning to make the connections between these strategies, peace and development on the continent.

Walelign Tadesse Robele is an Ethiopian Anthropologist. He holds a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from Andhra University, India. Dr. Walelign co-founded anthropology department at Hawssa University. He has extensive experience in directing collaborative research and coordinating academic programs.  Walelign also has broad ethnographic fieldwork experience and conducted researches on ethnicity, identity and conflict issues in Southern Ethiopia. He is an expert in qualitative studies, participatory development, community conversations, gender, and governance. Walelign authored a book “Change and Continuity in Traditional System of Local Governance”. He also published ethnographic materials and contributed book chapters in collaborative researches with regional government and international organizations like UNICEF and UNDP.  He is a member of ALTER (Alternative Carbon Investments in Ecosystems for Poverty Alleviation), a three-year international research initiative with researchers from UK, Ethiopia, and Uganda. He presented several papers in national and international workshops and conferences. Currently, he is a post-doctoral fellow at Washington State University, working on displacement, resettlement, and land grabbing issues.

Shariff Osman is the Deputy Director of the Department of the International Cooperation and Alumni Affairs and Assistant professor of Development Studies at Mogadishu University. He has been with Mogadishu University since 2000, has held several positions including the Dean of the Faculty of Computer Science and the Co-founder/Director of the Institute for Somali Studies. He has a Masters of Political Science from Poona University, Poona, India a Masters of Environmental Studies from York University, Toronto, Canada; and a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies, Ohio University, Athens. Professor Osman’s areas of interest include; critical development studies, post-conflict development, and environment; post-colonial theory in politics and culture, African urban-youth culture, social/environmental youth migration, critical theory in social-political development, environmental & cultural literary studies, nature and environment in social and political thought.

2013 Presidential Fellows

Komlan Agbedahin is a national of Togo (West Africa). He studied at the University of Lomé (Togo) where he earned an honors degree and a master’s degree in Sociology. He also has a master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CEPACS) at the University of Ibadan (Nigeria) on a DAAD scholarship. At the beginning of his research toward a Ph.D. in 2009, he spent four months at Jacobs University and Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (Germany) as a DAAD visiting fellow. He was awarded a Ph.D. in sociology at Rhodes University (South Africa) in 2012 after completing a thesis that focused on the agency of Liberian young veterans (former child-soldiers). He is presently an AHP/ACLS postdoctoral research fellow at Rhodes University in the Department of Sociology. He also worked with UNHCR in North Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as protection and field officer in 2008. After the January 2010 Earthquake, he worked in Haiti under the United Nations Stabilization Mission (MINUSTAH) with the Joint Operations and Tasking Centre (JOTC) as a monitoring and reporting officer.

Mathayo Bernard Ndomondo works as a Lecturer in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. His research interests include the intersection between music, gender, religion, and state agencies in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Tanzania; music and politics; music and migration; music, sexuality and gender; music for empowerment of children and young people; and popular culture. His theoretical interests include music and the body; music, health and healing; music and gender; postcolonialism and nationalism, transnationalism and cosmopolitanism; postmodernism; music and migration; and popular culture. Mathayo received his Ph.D. (in Ethnomusicology) from the University of Texas at Austin in 2010.

Stella Nyanzi is a medical anthropologist working as a Research Fellow at the Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR), and a Researcher in the Law, Gender and Sexuality Research Project of the School of Law at Makerere University. Since 1997, she has explored the intersections between culture, health, and sexuality in rural and urban Uganda. Other fieldwork sites include Tanzania and The Gambia. Her current research projects are located at the nexus between (homo)sexualities, religion, cultures, and law in the Ugandan state.

2012 Presidential Fellows

Gbemisola Adeoti holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Ibadan. He is a Professor in the English Department of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. He is the author of Naked Soles (poems), Voices Offstage: Nigerian Dramatists on Drama and Politics, Aesthetics of Adaptation in Contemporary Nigerian Drama, Co-editor (with Bjorn Beckman) of Intellectuals and African Development: Pretension and Resistance in African Politics and Editor of Muse and Mimesis: Critical Perspectives on Ahmed Yerima’s Drama.

Jemima Asabea Anderson is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English, University of Ghana, Legon. She holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Ghana. Her areas of research interest are politeness in African languages and African varieties of English, cross-cultural pragmatics, speech acts, the codification of English in Ghana and language and gender in Africa. She teaches courses in Phonetics and Phonology of English, Varieties and Functions of English, Discourse Analysis, Pragmatics, and Sociolinguistics.

Amidou Jean-Baptiste Sourou, from Benin Republic, is Professor of Communications at Saint Augustine University of Tanzania in Mwanza. He also teaches Rituals and Communications at the Gregorian University in Rome, Italy. He holds a Ph.D. in Social Communications and Social Sciences from the Gregorian University. He has published several books about African cultural, social and religious life, among them:  Africa: Ancient Rituals, New Celebrations, How Africans Celebrate their Rituals Today (Ed. Menaibuc, Paris, France).

2011 Presidential Fellows

Dr. Leketi Makalela, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. Some of Dr. Makalela’s most recent work considers the study of English and language development in South Africa, particularly among speakers with indigenous African language backgrounds, Black South African English (BSAE). His work will reveal fresh insights on the study of English and the development of language in Africa. Dr. Makalela received his Ph.D. from Michigan State University.

Dr. Susan Nalugwa Kiguli of Makerere University, Uganda. Dr. Kiguli studies the practice of oral poetry and popular song as understood by performers in post-apartheid South Africa and post-civil war Uganda. Her work suggests that popular song and oral poetry are reflections of social, cultural and political issues which influence the societies they are produced in. Dr. Kiguli received her Ph.D. in English from the University of Leeds.

2010 Presidential Fellows

Dr. Dominic Dipio, senior lecturer in literature at Makerere University, Uganda. Dr. Dipio has degrees in education and African literature, with a Ph.D. in cinema studies. Her research examines how issues related to gender and the position of women in African communities are represented by filmmakers, as part of the conscientization agenda, and what this reveals about gender relations in African communities.